When a super model reads the Torah with her robot Rabbi

When Leo Cole decided to meet a friend at Washington Square Park in New York last summer, he had no idea his life would change.

With its 1.83 meters, the impressive Colty designer Batsheva Hay spotted the site for a photoshoot with her latest collection. He asked Cole to pose for her, then contacted her with the prestigious international modeling agency, IMG Model, who signed her up immediately.

Since then, 21-year-old Cole has paraded for top designers in New York, Paris and Milan – Proenza Scholar, Hugo Boss, Marni, Loe and Ludovic de Saint-Sarnin. She has also shot campaigns for brands like Zara and Aztec Mountain and posed for designers throughout their creative process. Some of her pictures have already been published in the print edition of Vogue magazine, and Cole was in France most recently for Paris Fashion Week – Fall / Winter 2022-2023.

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Cole may have fallen in love with modeling, but he didn’t let go of his other passion: the computer. Cole, a student at Cornell University, likes artificial intelligence (AI) and how it can be used for social purposes.

His first major project was Robo Rabbi, an artificial intelligence that reads and interprets the weekly Torah Parashah and then raises questions aimed at strengthening and propagating Jewish values.

“I started Robo Rabbi last year as a side project. Rosh Hashanah was coming, and I was told about GPT-3 technology. It’s a natural language processor that allows AI to learn a lot of text on the Internet, “Cole explained in an interview. The Times of Israel, Shortly before the flight to Paris. “I started AI with a Jewish focus for weekly Parashah studies,” he added.

Model and computer science student at Cornell University, Leo Cole works on his laptop at his family home on Long Island, New York. (Credit: Courtesy of Leo Cole)

Cole introduced Robo Rabbi in his pilot version in 2021 for ten days of penance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He launched the full version in February 2022. Robo Rabbi caught the eye of the world when a BBC video titled ‘God and Robots:’: Will AI Convert to Religion? Cole discusses his work and the concept behind his AI-powered website.

The BBC reporter was interviewed by Cole when he was introduced to the Robo Rabbi by Rabbi Moshe Luin at the Great Synagogue in Paris. Cole was in the French capital for Spring / Summer 2022 Fashion Week in the fall of 2021.

Rabbi Moshe Luin was shown his artificial intelligence project Robo Rabbi at the Synagogue de Paris in Leo Cole Grande. (Credit: Courtesy of BBC)

“I think this project will continue to evolve into a larger concept. I am also working on other issues, including a digital art and NFT project, using AI and blockchain to further the public interest, ”Cole said.

When he arrived at Cornell in the fall of 2019, he had little interest in computing coal-based coal. He became “addicted” to it after taking a course explaining how a computer works and what he can learn from it.

Lior Cole (Courtesy of IMG Model)

“The computer is built on the model of the brain: so it needs to build on the human experience to program it. I was really drawn to the philosophical, artistic and creative side of it all,” said Cole, who specializes in data science, networking and user experience with triple honors in information science. Major is doing 6

He realized that there is room for many voices in the world of technology. “Technology is not just for mathematicians,” he stressed.

Cole wants to focus on implementing AI for positive and ethical purposes, instead of bad goals that often grab the headlines, such as influencing voting behavior or stealing people’s money.

Despite her tall and slender build, Cole, who has eyes, never considered modeling. She grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, with her Israeli-born mother, Judeo-American father, and older sister.

“I like to be tall, but it was a little weird in middle school, when my shoulders were bigger than my friends. It’s hard to borrow clothes in this situation,” Cole smiled. Presumably, he played basketball and volleyball at school and many summers. The Jews play in summer camps. “In fact, my only added value was my big size,” he says.

Leo Cole Batsheva Resort poses for the 2022 Look 2 collection. (Alexey Hey)

Although she was never a fashionista, Cole was always interested in clothing. As a child, she even had a sewing machine and made her own clothes from recycled materials. Professional modeling drives her into a completely different universe.

“Lior has an urban and avant-garde body. And he learned quickly, “said Dean Rogers, Cole’s manager at IMG. Rogers taught him how to walk on a podium: he learned the rest.

Due to her tall height, Cole has never worn high-heeled shoes before. It was something he had to master quickly. “I was trained to wear stilettos in grocery stores,” she says.

According to Rogers, Cole is usually the type of model that IMG is looking for, and it’s not just about physical beauty.

Model and computer science student Leo Cole at Cornell University is working on his laptop. (Credit: Courtesy of Leo Cole)

“IMG is famous for representing models whose qualities, ambitions and voices go beyond campaigns or editorials. Leo’s interest in AI is unique. She was the first model I knew who could create a coding and AI-based app with her passion … and also the first to give me a Ray Kurzweil coffee mug, “said Rogers, a famous inventor and futurist.

Cole says he likes modeling [la proximité avec] Creator, which gives him the opportunity to be “a music for crazy and creative talents”. She likes to travel, meet people and go behind the scenes in the fashion world.

Cole wears fairly bare-bones clothing, such as Ludovic de Saint-Sarnin’s latest minimalist piece, which he showcased on Catwalk last season. “I feel comfortable with myself, so I’m willing to take risky models, as long as it’s okay with my agency,” Cole said.

So far, she says she has not seen the dirty bottom of modeling – drug use, eating disorders, sexual harassment and abuse or human trafficking.

“Fortunately, I didn’t have a bad modeling experience, but I don’t respond to party invitations on Instagram,” she says.

Model Leo Cole puts her hair and makeup backstage. (Credit: Courtesy of Leo Cole)

Cole wants to continue modeling as long as possible, and Rogers hopes for a “long fashion career” for her. Cole took a leave of absence from the colonel to balance his degree, modeling and preparation for the AI ​​projects he was working on. He even wrote a children’s book about AI and presented it to literary agents.

Cole is sure he will find the right balance. He discovered that modeling and computer science complemented each other. “There is a lot of waiting time for modeling. So whenever I have a free moment, I open my laptop and start coding, “he concluded.

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